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Global Rallies, Futures Look Positive Pre-Bell On Wall Street

Asian stock markets closed higher overnight, and European bourses were up pre-bell on Wall Street, and U.S. stock market futures suggested green arrows. Weekly jobless claims are out Thursday, but few expect surprises, with claims in the 275,000 range. No Fed officials are slated to give speeches.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (YMH6) were up 0.31%; the S&P 500 index (ESH6) was also up 0.31%; and the Nasdaq 100 (NQH6) was up 0.40%.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 was up 1.46%, the Euronext 100 was up 2.50%, and the German DAX was up 2.97%. Middle Eastern indexes were also popping up, with Saudi Arabia's All-Share index advancing by about 2%.

Asian markets Thursday broadly gained in the global rally that followed Wednesday's "lift off" for the U.S. Federal Reserve's federal funds rate. Overnight gains on Wall Street set the tone, as did upswings on European bourses.

The Nikkei 225 rose 1.59% as traders also viewed a softer yen, and a report of record tourism to Japan in 2015. A softer yen is regarded as a positive in export-oriented Japan, and the Japanese tourism market is booming. The official Tourism Agency reported today that it expects 20 million visitors to Japan in 2015, up 49.1% from 2014.

The broad measure Nikkei 225 opened higher and then traded sideways on the plateau throughout the day, finishing up 303.65 to 19,353.56, as gainers outnumbered losers 202 to 18.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index Thursday rose 0.79% as traders took relief that the consensus outlook on the U.S. Federal Reserve Board is for gradual rate increases. The Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar, so Fed tightening has a direct impact on the competitiveness of the former crown colony. The broad gauge Hang Seng gained 170.85 to 21,872.06, as gainer outnumbered losers 37 to 13.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite index (SHCOMP) rose 1.81%. China Southern Airlines placed a $10 billion order for Boeing ( BA ) jetliners.

On other Asian markets Thursday, the Indian Sensex gained 0.90%; the S. Korean Kospi gained 0.43%; the Thai Set gained 1.03%; and the Singapore SGX gained 1.46%.The Australian S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.46%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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